When I was a teenager, I programmed myself to stop eating. I was so hungry I could’ve eaten the couch. Using my will power I stopped a primary, instinctual action; eat when hungry. My weight dropped to under ninety pounds.
In my mid twenties I started working out with weights and became obsessed with exercising. I used my will power through discipline, sacrifice and pain to transform my body into muscle. Off season my weight went up to a hundred and eighty pounds.
In my mid thirties, when my will power eventually burned out my nervous system, I discovered meditation. By consciously being present to my thoughts and feelings I was able to find temporary peace. I understood my will power as something other than who I was. But who was driving my will power? And who was it that was aware of who was driving my will power?
Through contemplating these questions I began to know thyself. During this process I freed myself from a prison I never realized I was in.
Through the practice of expanding consciousness I experientially felt the truth of peace and happiness coming from within. The limitations I experienced were self inflicted, consciously or unconsciously. By becoming consious of my limitations I allowed my potential to start shaping my life. My will power became my friend and not my master. By mentally surrendering and allowing, my life dramatically improved.
In my mid forties I became a committed horse person and redirected my lifestyle to outdoors. I created a unique horse business. I wanted to share what horses had given me. Being in their presence and tuning into their awareness offered me tools of coping with chaos by finding an internal, calm state of being. Horses awakend in me a child like curiosity and playfulness, allowing for more creative expression.
Now in my mid fifties, I no longer care about how much I weigh or how much fat or muscle my body is comprised of. My priority is in paying attention to how I feel mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and honoring that which is important to me. Consequently, I seem to experience less drama and more peace. This is not to say everything is continuously rosy. However, I frequently experience wonderment, peace, inspiration and fulfillment in what I do and how I navigate my life.
What is important to me may not apply to you. If you feel lost, without hope, depressed or out of control, I encourage you to contemplate on what is important to you. Then, spend a few minutes being aware of your breathing and present to your surroundings. If done as a daily practice you'll notice your life changing for the better.